By: Blonde Two

I love my outdoor swimming, especially in the winter. It brings with it all the usual expected benefits of outdoor life including improved mental and physical health but I have found a few surprising advantages to regular chilly water dips. It all goes to show that you should give things a go… maybe more than once…

1. You end up featuring in lots of holiday snaps. Down our way, swimmers are commonplace in the summer but we get far more questions and have far more photos taken in the winter.
2. You develop a taste for hot chocolate. I don’t usually like sweet drinks but after a swim, hot chocolate is the most delicious thing on earth.
3. You become far less bothered about your body (and other people’s). In the hurry to get warm, everybody eventually drops a towel or experiences a swimming outfit failure.
4. You realise the benefits of quick dressing far outweigh the benefits of wearing underwear.
5. You finally find an outdoor activity in which having a little additional bodily coverage is an advantage. ‘Bioprene’ is a great asset when you want to float well and stay in longer!

It is worth pointing out here that I am fairly well acclimatised to cold water. This type of swimming carries obvious risks and should be taken seriously. For a lot of people, their first taste of winter outdoor swimming is the traditional Christmas dip. The Outdoor Swimming Society has some great advice on how to approach the Christmas swim (and other cold swims) safely.

The Polar Bear Challenge – Outdoor Swimming